Wednesday, June 20, 2007

UNBELIEVABLE: Swiss government told Iranians it would host a Holocaust conference on "all views" on the Holocaust

According to a report in Die Weltwoche, a Swiss weekly, Switzerland's foreign minister proposed in December that her government host a conference on varying perspectives on the Holocaust. Those invited would include both Israel and Iran.

According to Die Weltwoche, the foriegn minister said she told the Iranians that she believed the "Holocaust was a historical fact."

This is so unbelievable that it's hard to know what to say except that the Swiss foreign minister has done PRECISELY what deniers want. She has made denial a legitimate "other side."

It would be the equivalent to inviting flat earth theorists to a conference on the nature of the universe. You might have sessions on why people believed the earth was flat. But you would be laughed out of town if you invited the flat earthers to speak.

I am sure that, as this news spread and protests mount, the foreign minister will quickly backtrack and apologize. That's essentially beside the point. The frightening point is that she thought this was a legitimate thing to do in the first place.


Ian Thal said...

Almost as unbelievable is that when one checks the comment section for the NY Sun article is that only two of the eleven comments posted (as of this writing) seem to ready to decry pseudo-history or the effort to present pseudo-history as a legitimate point of view.

The comments seem almost overwhelmingly those of deniers or those who consider denial to be a legitimate historical interpretation.

Finnie Family said...

Like you I can't believe that those who deny the holocaust are given any credibility, especially as the so called 'other side'. This is simply unacceptable!

To deny the plethora of historical evidence of the truth of the holocaust is mind blowing.


Friendstacy said...

the problem is that war history is always told by the victorious after the fact. Especially here in the US, the propaganda and lies get so enmeshed in the versions of history we are taught in school, it becomes unclear where the truth lies anymore. Rather than silencing anyone and everyone who questions our beliefs, why not allow them the chance to ask their questions? Truth will win out, it might take a while to get to it, but isn't that the ultimate goal-to get to the truth? Or is it not? Silencing those who disagree with us does not make our point any stronger, rather it usually has the exact opposite effect.

Michael H said...

Ms Lipsted completely correct. Excerpt from Top Ten Reasons to Visit Iran also caught the Swiss connection:

2. Shop summer bargains right now (summer would be off-season due to desert heat except Iran has no on-season) or wait for Fall specials on sand wear, January Ski Iran package to Shemshak and Dizin resorts - American skiers - remember you are from Switzerland, you are from Switzerland, you are from Switzerland.

To see all 10 - visit post of June 24 at

Martin Meenagh said...

thank you for your intelligent, informed and passionate blog. I have reently left Oxford for the bar, and understand your frustration with British academics of a particular sort; but I hope that you do not lose faith because of the loud and the fatuous that there are people who admire both Israel and the tradition of reason within which you stand.

Imandel said...

This is a good example of fallaciously thinking that there are always two (valid) sides to every story. It also represents a categorical error about the nature of bias: namely, that to avoid it, one must give weight (if not equal weight) to all sides.

dguzman said...

It's like claiming that intelligent design/creationism should be presented in schools alongside (and thus as an equally valid "theory") evolutionism. It's about as "fair and balanced" as FoxNews: in other words, not at all. Ridiculous. Don't these people have any awareness of their own prejudices?